Theme parks are important to Orlando. Parks bring tourists, and tourists bring money — in 2009, 46,583,000 visitors to the tri-county area brought in $27.6 billion, according to Visit Orlando.
So when a new theme park opens in the area, it’s a big deal. In honor of the opening of Legoland Florida, the Orlando Sentinel recreated its nameplate completely out of the tiny plastic bricks.
The newspaper’s website tells the story of how the graphics and multimedia staffs built it. There’s even a time-lapse video of the construction. Clearly the project took quite a bit of patience and time.
Kudos, guys. I think the final outcome was worth it.
When I first glanced at the Oct. 9 issue of Parade Magazine on my kitchen table, I thought it was an OK cover. It wasn’t until I sat down and looked at it closely that I realized its genius.
The designer used computer keys, mouses and USB cables to make a head of a kid — actually creating a member of Generation Wired.
I also love the headline.
Very creative, very cool cover.
Looking for a story that tugs at your heartstrings? Nothing could make a bigger impression than a piece about baby elephants.
Charles Siebert writes about the Nairobi nursery of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s rehabilitation efforts in “Orphan Elephants” for National Geographic. Full of great details, it’s an interesting look at the psyche of an extremely intelligent species elephants and the challenge humans face in raising elephant orphans. (One interesting fact is that the orphans could be experiencing PTSD caused by being attacked or witnessing their mothers’ deaths.)
The nursery nourishes, protects and socializes the elephants so that they can eventually be returned to the wild to live out their long lives and carry on their dwindling species.
Here’s a great graf from the story:
Off in the distance a few upright figures in bright green coats and crumpled white safari hats appear, calling out names in trilling, high-pitched voices: “Kalama!” “Kitirua!” “Olare!” All at once baby elephants emerge from the brush, a straggled procession of 18 flap-eared brown heads, their long trunks steering their bulbous heft with a heavily hypnotic grace. They come to rest beneath the color-draped trees, where the keepers tie a blanket around each one for warmth before resuming the trek home.
The wonderful photos by Editor-At-Large Michael Nichols show the adorable elephants with their caretakers, in custom raincoats, feeding and playing. Clicking through the gallery you can’t help but say, “Aw.”
To read the story and see the photo gallery, visit National Geographic Magazine online or check out the September issue.
Rarely am I intimated by my sources, but I was a little nervous before interviewing Dr. Robert Cook for the website of the University of Florida’s College of Public Health and Health Professions. His resume was quite impressive and I had to sit down and intelligently discuss his research about STDs and sexual behavior without getting confused or uncomfortable.
Our interview was at the Emerging Pathogen’s Institute, a cool building with huge white boards wrapped around the walls and a security guard in the lobby who gave me a visitor’s badge and made me wait an escort.
The interview went well. My thorough preparations helped things go smoothly. I even heard the magic words I long to hear from my sources: “Now that’s a good question.”
The story recently reran in the Health Science Center’s newsletter, The POST. You can read it online here.
Maybe it’s because I grew up watching medical-themed shows with my parents, maybe it’s because I really enjoyed biology in high school, or maybe it’s because I’m a bit of a hypochondriac, but I love reading about health and medicine.
Below are three books I’ve enjoyed so far this summer and definitely recommend. They’re easy, interesting reading that don’t require a medical degree to appreciate.
Ask Me Why I Hurt by Randy Christensen, M.D.
A brand new copy of this book happened to be on display when I walked into my local library so I decided to check it out. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. Christensen is a pediatrician at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital who started a mobile medical unit that serves homeless youth. The book follows Christensen’s personal and professional life during the first 10 years of the Crews’n Healthmobile service in the Phoenix area. What makes the book is the haunting stories of the teens that Christensen helps: children who were abandoned and abused and now trying to survive in the dessert. To learn more about the book, Christensen and his mission, check out askmewhyihurt.com.
Better by Atul Gawande, M.D., MPH
Why I told my friend Michelle about Ask Me Why I Hurt, she lent me Gawande’s first two books. Gawande is an associate professor at Harvard, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a writer for the New Yorker magazine. When I read his work, I get really jealous: This guy can perform surgery/save lives AND write well? It’s just not fair.
Each chapter looks at something different, from the importance of hand washing to how to eradicate a disease. The most interesting chapters covered topics people don’t always talk about, such as: Who are the medical professionals who participate in the death penalty (and how exactly does it work)? How much should doctors really be paid?
Complications by Atul Gawande, M.D., MPH
Honestly, I’m still reading Complications. I find myself preferring Better, I think because I’m not as interested in gory surgical details as I am in general public health issues. However, this book still soars with Gawande’s exquisite carefully written, carefully researched prose. What’s really great about Complications is Gawande’s honesty in sharing his own experiences as a surgeon, even when they aren’t the most flattering. During residency and internships, new doctors have to practice on live patients and sometimes things don’t go right, but I’ll let you read about it for yourself.
Gawande recently released a third book, The Checklist Manifesto. You can bet that I’ll be tracking down a copy of it soon.
If you have a book recommendation, please let me know! I’m always looking for something new to read.
The beat I am most interested in covering is health. Partly out of nerdy curiosity, partly out of concern that one of my family members might I have dementia, I attended a memory disorders panel this morning. The event included presentations by Alzheimer’s support organizations, a physician, researchers and a brief appearance by U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Winter Garden, whose mother had Alzheimer’s.
I was tapping away on my phone when my mom leaned over and asked, “What are you doing?” “Tweeting,” I told her. We were sitting in the back so I thought I would take the opportunity to practice live tweeting. I was never trained on how to do it, so I just carefully listened for key facts or interesting tidbits that I could successfully condense to 140 characters.
By the end, I had sent out nine tweets from my Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Captivate. Thankfully, my touch-screen phone allowed me to type almost silently. If I had been using a keypad then I would have been really noisy.
My advice to others hoping to live-tweet a quiet event like a panel, academic presentation, or featured speaker is to make sure their phone/equipment is quiet and be prepared to multitask. Sometimes the speaker would move on to a new point while I was still trying to get my thought formulated for the character limit. Also, find an event where you can practice without the pressure of an editor, deadlines or journalistic obligation.
I was worried how my actions might be perceived, but because we ended up with seats in the back, the speakers couldn’t see me and neither could most of the audience members. Any advice on how to achieve live tweeting without looking like a distracted, disinterested, rude audience member?
This morning, I witnessed space shuttle Endeavor blast-off from Cape Canaveral. It was my first time out on the coast for a launch so I was pretty excited.
When I wasn’t marveling at the sunrise, swatting at love bugs or trying to sleep (I got to Space View Park at 10 last night), I considered how far come technology has come since the space program started. While I don’t know much about rockets and space ships, I do know mass media.
My mom was 8 when man landed on the moon. She watched the historic event on her aunt’s television. Radio, newspapers and magazines were the only other ways her family could know about the progress of the space program.
Fast-forward 42 years to my mom, my sister and I sitting on the Indian River across from the launch pad. I borrowed my dad’s transistor radio, thinking we could listen to reports while we waited. But as it turns out, our smartphones made the radio obsolete. My sister received text updates and I checked Twitter for tweets from NASA and news agencies. As I ate my peanut butter and jelly sandwich this morning, I read about what the astronauts had for breakfast (lobster?!).
All the cards I packed went untouched as we played games on our phones, checked our social media accounts and talked to our friends. I gave my DSLR a little break as I took pictures on my phone and uploaded them to Twitter and Facebook. When I prepared for the trip, I didn’t even bother to print out directions or bring a map for the trip because we have a Garmin.
It’s just so crazy to think about technology has evolved and taken our lives with it. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of technology and media I will be using 40 years from now.
Twice this week when people heard I just graduated with my journalism degree, they said to me, “Oh, maybe I’ll see you on T.V. someday!”
This is a huge pet peeve of mine: People automatically equating “journalist” with “television reporter.”
Photo by flikr user stekelbes
I’ve always wanted to be a writer and in recent years developed an interest in multimedia (including shooting and editing video), but I have never had an interest in doing stand-ups in front of the camera. I’ve always wanted to be a writer or run an editor at a publication. While print and television reporters may employ the same research and interview techniques, there is still a difference in what we do.
I don’t consider it an insult or anything — I’m just not a television reporter; I chose the magazine and multimedia route. I, too, watch the news (in fact, I have CNN Newsroom on right now) and I have great respect for the reporters. Several of friends who took the telecommunications track at UF.
What upsets me the most about the “maybe I’ll see you on TV”-comment is the reasons WHY the public automatically makes this assumption. Is it a sign or symptom of the death of print journalism?
In an age of the 24-hour news cycle, smart phone applications and social media, does the public forget about the journalists whose faces they don’t see on TV? They don’t realize that it is because of a journalist that they are getting news updates sent to their phone. Or that because of a journalist that some of them still get that black and white thing called a newspaper, or that colorful, glossy thing called a magazine.